You know what I miss? Italian ripoffs of successful movies. They just don’t seem to happen anymore. Like this — obviously, it’s The Fly, but takes plenty of twists and turns. And oh yes — it’s directed by B&S About Movies favorite George Eastman!
Gene LeBrock (Father Peter from La Casa 5/Beyond Darkness) plays Dr. Peter Houseman, a young scientist who just doesn’t get along with the older scientists at his university. His ideas are just a bit too crazy. One of those ideas is injecting himself with his own formula for reversing the effects of aging. That action causes him to undergo a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde syndrome, along with his body falling apart.
He also has all sorts of women problems, from dating a fellow scientist with a young kid to a student who won’t stop teasing him in class and even a mystery girl that he only sees in flashbacks. And oh hey – is that Laura Gemser as a prostitute? It is!
Then, as things happen, he starts to turn into a lizard and kills people. Say no more, you know?
As this was made at the end of the Italian horror movie era, the effects are as minimal as the budget. There are some good ideas, some interesting moments and enough violence to keep things from getting too boring. And hey, it has a needle to the eye, so I’m certain that Fulci was pleased.
Trivia note: In Spain, this movie was called Re-Animator 2.
You can grab this on the Mill Creek Chilling Classics set (which is a bargain packed with bad transfers and plenty of great films that we’ve been covering all month), watch it for free on Amazon Prime or buy a much better quality copy from Shout! Factory.
There is one scene where he glares over at the kid, and there’s this look on his face that says, “I’m gonna fuck your mom, you little shit!”. By far my favorite moment of the film.
I assume that’s the look that George Eastman gave many an Italian schoolboy before rogering their mama.
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